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First Turkish cloned calves born

Researchers from TUBITAK Marmara Research Center (MRC), Istanbul University and Uludag University, who are co-workers of the joint project CLONING OF ANATOLIAN NATIVE CATTLE BREEDS PROJECT, obtained the first Turkish clon calves after a 4-year research study.

The male Turkish Grey calf, 25 kg, was born on 19th August 2009 and the female Turkish Grey calves Ece and Ecem were born 5th of January, Nilufer was born 9th March and Kiraz was born 12th March 2010 by cesarean section. The clon calves are named as Efe (male), Ece and Ecem (female twins) and after Nilufer and Kiraz (in Uludag University) representing the western Anatolia, the native distribution of the breed Turkish Grey. In this project, The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Uludag University provided the tissues from a 4 years old Turkish Grey bull. Researchers at The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University transferred the embryos to carrier mother cows. The calf Efe was born in the farm of Istanbul University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. In the frame of the same project, the tissue sample was provided by a 5 years old female cow of the same breed in Marmara Region. The twin calves Ece and Ecem were born in the farm of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Istanbul University. After a while, the calves Nilufer and Kiraz were born in the farm of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Uludag University. Cultured and obtained cells were used for the production of clon embryos in Transgene and Experimental Animals Laboratory at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Institute of TUBITAK MRC. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sezen Arat from TUBITAK-MRC, the project leader, reported that a crowded and specially trained veterinary team performed a very successful cesarean section. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sezen Arat also underlined the resistance of Anatolian breeds to diseases and harsh environmental factors. She also highlighted the sharp decrease in the population sizes of Turkish breeds. She implied that a cattle cloning was not the first in the world, but cloning of a Turkish cattle, a Turkish grey in this case, was the first. She explained the aim of the project to provide a sustainable management system to prevent the extinction of Turkish breeds. All are Turkish grey cattle clones. Efe, the first outcome of the Cloning of Anatolian Native Cattle Breeds Project, which aims to serve conservation studies of Anatolian native breeds; is the first Anatolian clon calf both in Turkey and in the world. Ece and Ecem are also the first female clon calves in Turkey. After, two female clon calves were born in The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Uludag University named as Nilufer and Kiraz, first in Bursa and all Ece, Ecem, Nilufer and Kiraz DNA materials obtained from same source.